Local high school student helps choreograph professional ballet

The poster image for “Myths and Monsters,” featuring Company Dancer Emma Beigel. (Photo by Mark Abarca at the Slippery Noodle Inn)
The poster image for “Myths and Monsters,” featuring Company Dancer Emma Beigel. (Photo by Mark Abarca at the Slippery Noodle Inn)

By Heather Collins

Erica Lohman, a Mt. Vernon High School senior, will debut her choreography during the Ballet Theatre of Indiana’s “Myths and Monsters” at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in the Toby Theatre.

The opportunity arose when Lohman, a student at the Ballet Theatre of Carmel, approached the director of the Ballet Theatre of Indiana, Stirling Matheson.

“I told (Matheson) I was interested in applying for a Young Arts Foundation choreography scholarship, and I needed well-trained dancers to work with. Once their season started and preparations for the ‘Myths and Monsters’ show were underway, Mr. Matheson asked me to choreograph a piece for it. And I obviously said yes,” Lohman said.

Lohman choreographed a pieced titled, “The Valkyries.” Lohman’s piece is one of four in the Ballet Theatre of Indiana’s Myths and Monsters presentation.

“I actually took a mythology course at my school, and I found that Norse mythology really piqued my interest,” Lohman said. “Eventually, I decided to do a piece about the Valkyries, which by definition are ethereal female spirits hand-picked by the ruler of the gods to carry slain war heroes to Valhalla (Heaven).”

The Ballet Theatre of Indiana is a nonprofit professional ballet company that provides high quality technical and artistic dance to the greater Indianapolis community while building relationships and collaborating within the established artistic culture.

“One of our missions is to help choreographers in the area display their work,” said Audrey Robson, public relations and marketing director for the Ballet Theatre of Indiana.

Lohman will attend opening night and said she looks forward to seeing the Ballet Theatre of Indiana dancers perform her work.

Lohman said she is planning to pursue a career in the performing arts. She is applying to several colleges with a goal of majoring in dance and studying choreography. She admires the choreography work of Twyla Tharp (a fellow Hoosier), Paul Taylor, Gene Kelly and Bob Fosse.

“The dance world is filled with many opportunities,” Lohman said. “I look forward to a life full of performing arts.”

The Ballet Theatre of Indiana’s Myth and Monsters will be presented at 7 p.m. Oct 27 and 28 at the IMA’s Toby Theatre. For more, visit btindiana.org/events.


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